It is located in the centre of the province of León, to the east of the Maragatería region. The name Castrillo could emanate from the proximity of two castros, Castro de San Martino and Teso de la Mesa, which would indicate that their origins are very ancient. The village was rebuilt, in its current location at the end of the 16th century, after a flood destroyed it in its old location. It completed its current physiognomy during the 17th and 18th centuries, which also corresponds to the most important moment of the maragatos muleteers, the main activity of the inhabitants of the locality at that time. The maragatos were dedicated to the transport of products from the coast to the interior and vice versa and they came to have great social and economic power until well into the nineteenth century. The arrival of the train to Astorga in 1866 marked the beginning of its decline. Today it forms part of Astorga's town hall and was declared a Historic-Artistic Site in 1980, as it all maintains with care and care its history captured in each stone of its traditional architecture.
In Castrillo de los Polvazares, the whole village is a monument. All of this can be said to be preserved with its original physiognomy; the stone houses, with their characteristic reddish colour and their green windows framed in a white colour, with large arched doors for the entrance of the carriages; their interior courtyards, true distributors of the arriera houses, even some of these houses with coats of arms on their facades; their cobbled streets; the transept located at the end of the wide Royal Street around which the village turns. In the Major Square, the small church of San Juan Bautista stands out with its double belfry, and a little further down the old fountain. There is nothing better than, after taking delight in the walk between the streets that recreate the memory of the past of this beautiful village, which by the way is pedestrian, to make a stop on the way and also feed the body giving it the pleasure of tasting the famous "cocido maragato" that the mesones and restaurants of the locality offer us.
Castrillo de los Polvazares celebrates its patron saint festivities on 24 July in honour of the Virgen Madalena.
In Castrillo de los Polvazares the traditional folklore of León is displayed with the exhibition of the typical costumes of what is celebrated. A Maragata wedding is represented, with all that this entails of courtships, adornments, dances and costumes. In their big feast, the Madalena, the girls of the village dressed in their maragata costumes take out the Virgin in procession, who is accompanied by the local people with chants and drums.
In Castrillo de los Polvazares a Napoleonic Days are usually held every two years, lasting several days and recreating the seizure of the village by Napoleon's troops and the battles that, for their recovery, the people of the place led.
The legend wants to explain to us why the maragato stew is eaten starting with the meat and ending with the soup. It tells us that when the French, in the War of Independence in the nineteenth century, were in these parts and before the imminence of a battle, not wanting to lose such a feast, as is supposed to be cooked, chose to taste first the tasty meat to continue with the rich chickpeas and finally, if they had time, finish with the soup.
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Castrillo de los Polvazares is located on the LE-142 that joins Astorga and Ponferrada, which partly follows the course of the Way of Saint James. This road connects the town with nearby Astorga as well as with Murias de Rechivaldo and Santa Colomba de Somoza.
Castrillo de los Polvazares has a bus service with a stop at the entrance to the village on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays which cover the Molinaferrera-Astorga line and on Tuesdays and Thursdays also connect it with Pobladura de la Sierra. The telephone number of the concessionary company is 987 602 509.
Castrillo de los Polvazares is connected by rail through the train station of nearby Astorga.
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